Native American Woman: Zitkala-Sa

Better Essays
Vanessa Melton-Wampler

SOCI3093.50

March 18, 2013

Professor Thomas

Native American Woman: Zitkala-Sa

The month of March is Women’s History Month and one of my favorite months of the year. This month has the opportunity to entice people learn about women from all races, ethnicities, and backgrounds, and encourage women to admire those who’ve made a difference. There are many Native American women who’ve fought and died for the rights of their tribe and sex, but she is by far one of my favorite ones. Through literature, music, and politics, she fought to change the thoughts and beliefs of White America so their views of Native American culture could be better ones.

Name of Important Woman

I chose to write about one of my favorite Native American authors and activists, Gertrude Simmons Bonnin. Zitkala Sa, which means Red Bird in the Lakota dialect, is a name she gave herself after she left the tribe and graduated from college (Giese 1996) so she is known by both names. She was born February 22, 1876 at the Yankton Sioux Reservation (Johnson and Wilson 1988:27) and she “died at 61 and was buried in Arlington Cemetery (due to her husband's service in World War I)” in 1938 (Hoefel 1999).

Racial/Ethnic Background

Gertrude Simmons Bonnin is considered a part of the Yankton Sioux Tribe. She was the mixed child of John Haysting Simmons, a man of Anglo-French decent (Johnson and Wilson 1988:27) and full blooded Yankton Sioux Indian Ellen Tate 'I yohiwin “She Reaches for the Wind” Simmons (Henderson 1997). She identified more with her Native American roots because of the traditional teachings her mother taught her. Her mother taught her the ways and language of the Yankton Sioux and even raised her in “a tipi on the Missouri River until she was 12” (Hoefel 1999).

Justification

Gertrude Simmons Bonnin/Zitkala-Sa is such an important woman because of her positive contributions to the Native

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Satisfactory Essays

    The Story of Zitkala-Sa

    • 933 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Zitkala-Sa The Indian way of life, is all about spirit and faith. Their whole culture is build up about it, and losing the spirit is the same as losing their status in the community. The story about the 8-year-old girl, Zitkala-Sa, is about how an Indian girl is leaving her mother, and follows the paleface missionaries to the East. Zitkala-Sa has always wanted to experience the East, with the big apple trees, and the lovely way of living, and even though her mother don’t believe in the palefaces’…

    • 933 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Good Essays

    the people in her tribe when she came back to them. Devens, C argues that, zitkala-Sa admitted that when she retuned from the missionary school she felt that she was out of her place at her tribe because the colonizers’ culture had caught her (237). She finds herself more isolated from the members of her native culture. she convinces, Well, you can guess how queer I felt—away from my own people— homeless—penniless—and even without a name!(). It is apparent that the boarding school and the colonizers…

    • 304 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    written by Mahatma Gandhi, a person who showed great strength. This quote explains that a person can achieve anything they want, no matter what physical strength they have, it matters how badly they want it. In the story “The Warrior’s Daughter” by Zitkala-Sa, Tusee has to go out and use her will to go out and achieve what has to be done. During the story Tusee’s tribe has to go out and fight, some members have been captured, including her lover. Meanwhile, she longs for her lover to return, she knows…

    • 578 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    (part 6)” by Zitkala-Sa Part 6 is set 3 years after part 5. Zitkala-Sa is now back home. She can read, write, and speak english. This part is short and describes Zitkala-Sa's sadness at how her village had lost most of it's origin. In the village where she lived Indians were dressed in the white people's clothes. They were speaking English instead of their native language. This distressed her so much that she decides to go back to school. Unlike many of the other Indians Zitkala-Sa still has an…

    • 135 Words
    • 1 Page
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Better Essays

    In American Indian Stories, University of Nebraska Press Lincoln and London edition, the author, Zitkala-Sa, tries to tell stories that depicted life growing up on a reservation. Her stories showed how Native Americans reacted to the white man's ways of running the land and changing the life of Indians. "Zitkala-Sa was one of the early Indian writers to record tribal legends and tales from oral tradition" (back cover) is a great way to show that the author's stories were based upon actual events…

    • 1275 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Better Essays

    Native American Hardships

    • 1991 Words
    • 8 Pages

    Native Americans have been struggling in society since the Europeans had migrated to the United States of America. Native Americans have always tried to get along with the Europeans yet the Europeans wanted dominance over the Native American population. In American schools children learn about how the Native American were savages and how they were the cause of the tension between the Europeans and the Native Americans. Native Americans still haven’t assimilated into American culture or Society…

    • 1991 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Better Essays

    Zitkala Sa's Analysis

    • 1036 Words
    • 5 Pages

    young girl, Zitkala Sa enters a world unknown as a victim of institutionalized assimilation. With the aid of education provided to her through this institution, she chooses to share her experiences with the world, criticizing the fallacious conceit of race. Through her potent use of language and strategic storytelling, Zitkala Sa uncovers the nature of the concept of race and the truth about the fate of her people. While expressing her story, several factors influence, or coax, Zitkala to shape…

    • 1036 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    Native American

    • 770 Words
    • 4 Pages

    The Northern Native Americans were known as “savages” by the European settlers, but actually they created some of the greatest civilizations in history. The lands and social cultures that European explored thought they “discovered” had in fact been developed way before they had arrived. When the European settlers arrived in North America they found an unknown continent largely populated by around 350 Native American civilizations. The Northern Native Americans ways of life may have differed but…

    • 770 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Native American

    • 2493 Words
    • 8 Pages

    Before contact with Europeans, Native Americans developed an effective system of informal education call aboriginal education. The system included transmitting knowledge, values, skills, attitudes, and dispositions to the next generation in real world settings such as the farm, at home, or on the hunting ground. Native American educational traditions passed on culture needed to succeed in society. Education was viewed as a way to beautify and sharpen the next generation and prepare them to take…

    • 2493 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    Natives Americans

    • 352 Words
    • 2 Pages

    The relationship between Native Americans and early Euro-Americans on the Eastern North American Atlantic coast were gradually changing for several decades. Support: When Europeans settled in the “New Land”, they had hard time adapting living with the Indians. However, the Indians feared what Europeans brought such as weapons. There was a huge difference between the tribes’ weaponry and the European because of their powerful advances with the most progressive rifles. The flintlock rifle was…

    • 352 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays